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The Party was a close-knit friend group formed by the four boys Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair and Dustin Henderson, which would later include Eleven and Max Mayfield.

The term "Party" originally referred to the four boys's Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. After Will disappeared in 1983, the Party became instrumental in reacting to the odd phenomena occurring in their hometown. The Party typically used D&D terminology as a means to explain and understand the supernatural phenomena they encounter.

In November 1983, Mike, Dustin and Lucas accidentally crossed paths with Eleven while investigating Will's disappearance. Within a short time, they befriended her and accepted her into the party. Later, in 1984, Max Mayfield joined the party, and the older teens like Steve Harrington, Nancy Wheeler, Robin Buckley, and Jonathan Byers became important allies to them.

Some members of the Party were also part of the Hawkins Middle School AV Club, and later, the Hellfire Club at Hawkins High.



Prior to 1983, the Party consisted of four boys: Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson.

Mike Wheeler and Will Byers met in kindergarten in 1976; on the first day of school, Mike approached Will on the swing set and asked him to be his friend, to which Will happily agreed. Sometime later, Mike's neighbor, Lucas Sinclair, joined the friend group. In the fall of 1980, following the boys growing a love for D&D, they soon added Dustin Henderson into the group, who had recently moved into town.


Shortly after Will went missing, the rest of the party began searching for him. Instead of finding Will, they stumbled upon Eleven, a girl with telekinetic powers. While Lucas was initially skeptical about her, Mike readily trusted her and accepted her into the party, not only because he cared for her but also she appeared to have information about Will. Eleven helped the boys search for Will. She claimed that Will was "hiding." When they saw what appeared to be Will's dead body, the boys gave up the search. Eleven managed to convince Mike that Will was alive by contacting him through Mike's Supercom. To convince Lucas and Dustin, Mike had Eleven contact Will at their school, using their AV Club radio. Eleven successfully managed to contact Will, who was trying to tell mother Joyce Byers where he was.

From Will's description of his location being "like home, but dark, empty, and cold," the boys realized that Will was trapped in another dimension where it is a darker version of their hometown of Hawkins. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin learned from their science teacher Mr. Clarke that the only way to get into the Upside Down is through a Gate, a tear between time and space. The boys decided to look for the gate with their compasses, knowing the gate would have a strong electromagnetic field. Eleven used her powers to lead the boys away from the gate's location at Hawkins National Laboratory. This lead to a fight between Mike and Lucas, with Lucas storming off and Eleven running away.

When Mike and Dustin realized that Eleven was really trying to protect them, they went out to look for her. Lucas went alone to find the gate. When Lucas arrived at the lab and noticed all of the armed government agents, he realized that Eleven was truly trying to keep them safe. Around the same time, Eleven saved Mike and Dustin from bullies Troy Walsh and James Dante and the three reconciled.

After evading the government agents who arrived at the Wheeler House, Mike, Dustin and Eleven reunited with Lucas. Eleven flipped a van over their heads, which stopped the agents' pursuit. At the junkyard, the group made amends with each other. While they hid in the junkyard, the kids were contacted by radio by Mike's older sister, Nancy and Police Chief Jim Hopper. Mike revealed their location and Hopper came to their rescue. Hopper took the kids to the Byers' house. The kids explained their discoveries to Joyce, Hopper, Nancy, and Jonathan at the Byers House. Eleven tried to locate Will, using her powers, while she was at the Byers' house, but was unable to do so. The group went to Hawkins Middle School to construct a sensory deprivation tank. After Eleven located Will in the void, Hopper and Joyce left to rescue Will while the kids stayed at the middle school. Nancy and Jonathan leftto try to kill the Demogorgon, which left the kids alone. The kids were ambushed by the government agents led by Dr. Martin Brenner and agent Connie Frazier. When the Demogorgon arrived and attacked the agents, the boys carried an exhausted Eleven to the science class. There, Eleven saved the boys and killed the Demogorgon, but vanished, leaving her fate unknown.

Will was successfully rescued from the Upside Down and was reunited with his friends and family. A month later, during Christmas, the boys celebrated though Mike was still saddened by Eleven's disappearance. At home, Will vomited up a small slug-like creature, and experienced a vision of the Upside Down.


After Will's rescue from the Upside Down and Eleven's disappearance, Will started having visions from the Upside Down, including that of a shadow monster. The boys met a new girl named Max Mayfield and discovered her to be the arcade player "MADMAX" who beat Dustin's high score on Dig Dug. Both Lucas and Dustin developed crushes on her and welcomed her into the party while Will did not mind, but Mike grew annoyed as he did not want her to take Eleven's place. However, as the boys continued to keep secrets about the Upside Down and the truth of Will's disappearance, Max grew irritated and left the party. Lucas eventually told her the truth, but Max did not believe him until she saw an adolescent Demogorgon for the first time.

Dustin worked with Steve Harrington to try and hunt down Dart and they later became best friends. Steve later joined the party after befriending all of the party members.

Will would become possessed by the Mind Flayer, causing the party to work together to find a way to save Will and Hawkins. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin would eventually reunite with Eleven who'd spent a year in hiding with Jim Hopper.

After freeing Will from the Mind Flayer and closing the gate to the Upside Down, the party attended their school's Snow Ball together. As they dance, Mike and Eleven form a relationship as do Lucas and Max.


By the summer of 1985, many members of the Party had become involved in romantic relationships. Mike had become involved with Eleven, Lucas with Max, and Dustin with a girl from Utah that he met at summer camp. Will was the only member of the Party to not be in a romantic relationship, and with the attention of his friends in short supply, he struggled to feel accepted, or valued. He attempted to organise new Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, but grew upset and angry when he saw his friends were clearly losing interest.

Hopper, who had officially become Eleven's father due to a birth certificate provided by Dr. Owens, grew uncomfortable with Mike and Eleven's blossoming relationship. He grew concerned that the two were spending too much time together and felt the two were growing up too fast. Hopper tried to express his worries after getting advice from Joyce, but when he saw that Mike and Eleven were not ready to hear his thoughts and feelings, he forced Mike to lie to Eleven so the two can have some space between each other.

As before, the Party became involved in the Upside Down once more: however this time, Will Byers was able to provide additional help as the fragment of the Mind Flayer that once resided in him left him with the ability to sense the monster's activity.

Three months afterward, the Party became fragmented after the Byers family were relocated to Lenora Hills, California. Joyce made the decision to take Eleven with her after Hopper's presumed death.


The four remaining members of the Party began their freshmen year at Hawkins High, while El and Will began their freshmen year at Lenora Hills High in California. Mike, Lucas and Dustin had joined the school's Dungeons & Dragons club, Hellfire Club, ran by Eddie Munson, though Lucas had joined the school's basketball team, which conflicted his schedule with the Hellfire Club. Max had begun seeing the school counselor following her stepbrother's death, and began dealing with depression, nightmares, headaches, and nose bleeds. Max had also begun shutting out her friends, avoiding contact with any of them. Mike struggled to keep his friends together and admit his love for El, Dustin tried to balance his brotherly relationship with Steve due to his friendship with Eddie, and Lucas struggled to remain loyal to his peers as he desired to be popular. Meanwhile, El struggled to live without her powers while being a target for bullies, while Will struggled to reconnect with Mike after feeling distant from him during the previous year. During Spring Break, the Party is split in half, with Dustin, Lucas, and Max in Hawkins while Eleven, Mike, and Will stayed in California.

When learning of an entity named Vecna who began murdering people in Hawkins, the Party, despite their separate locations, worked to stop the evil and save each other. Dustin, Lucas, and Max investigated Vecna with the help of their older allies, El received help to restore her powers, and Mike and Will traveled to save El from the deranged Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan.

After discovering Vecna's true identity as Henry Creel and Hawkins Lab's first test subject "One", the crew worked together from a distance to try and kill Vecna while protecting Max from Vecna's grasp, though the plan proved to be initially unsuccessful, as Vecna killed Max and opened up a Gate to the Upside Down throughout Hawkins. However, El restarted Max's heart, and after returning to Hawkins, she, Mike, and Will gathered around a comatose Max's hospital bed alongside Lucas. Later on, the Party witnessed particles and a storm brewing from the Upside Down, beginning to merge into Hawkins, making them realize the threat of Vecna and the Upside Down was not over.

Members & Individual Roles[]




With the purpose of avoiding conflict, both socially and within gameplay, the four founders created some rules, calling it, the Rule of Law.

Friends don't lie.

As said by Mike and Lucas, this is the most important rule of the party. Friends always have to stay true towards each other, no matter what happens. Eleven seemingly adheres to this rule quite often.

You draw first blood, you shake hands.

As said by Dustin, Mike pushed Lucas first at the Junkyard, so Mike had to apologize to Lucas.

Obey the rule of law or be banished from the party.

  • As said by Mike, this is also important. When Lucas tells Max about the Upside Down, Dustin tells Lucas that he broke the rule of law, though Lucas did it to explain to Max why he and the boys were being secretive with her.
  • Later in 1986, Dustin and Max did the same thing when they told Eddie Munson about the Upside Down alongside Robin and Steve as Eddie had been framed for murder after discovering the death of Chrissy Cunningham was caused by a creature from the Upside Down called Vecna.


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see The Party/Gallery.


  • The word "Party" is a reference to Dungeons & Dragons, as it is the term used by the game's rulebook(s) to describe a group of allied player characters. The game itself is often used to describe monsters and phenomena the Party is attempting to understand.
  • Suzie is the only ally that has no knowledge of the Upside Down.
  • Eleven and Will are the only two members of the Party to possess supernatural abilities: Eleven was born and later trained her powers, while Will's only power of sensing the Mind Flayer came from being a prior host.
  • Everyone in the Party except Will has been or is currently in a romantic relationship.
  • Max is the first one of the younger teenagers to be seen driving. This granted her the specific role of "zoomer", a term that uniquely is not derived from Dungeons and Dragons.
    • If one sticks to established classes, Max would likely be their Thief, as the class is focused on speed and stealth. In addition, Max’s tendency to go rogue - as shown early in season 3 with Eleven - fits well with the thief.
  • Lucas and Mike are the only members of the Party who live with both of their biological parents.
    • Max, Will and Dustin are the only members of the Party who live with at least one of their biological parents.
    • Eleven is the only member of the Party who doesn't live with any of her biological parents.
  • Eleven and Dustin are the only members of the Party who have committed murder.
  • Eleven and Max are the only two female members and additionally, the only two that have not played Dungeons and Dragons or have been part of the AV Club. Will, Max, and El are the only members not apart of the Hellfire Club.
  • In the "Elder Tree" campaign of 1979, Nancy participated and dressed up as an elf.
  • Dustin and Lucas are the only members of the Party to have appeared in every episode of the series, even though one episode had them appear only in flashbacks.
  • Will and Max are the only members of the Party to have "died" before being resurrected; Will was revived via CPR by Hopper and Joyce, while Max was resurrected (though placed in a coma) by Eleven restarting her heart.